Tiny homes are small spaces designed with highly functional and minimalistic living in mind. Anyone can live in them - from teenagers in need of their own space through to families of five (although you might find it overly snug as your kids get older). People make the switch to tiny house living for a variety of reasons; whether it be a simplified lifestyle, sustainable living or affordability. Tiny homes come in a range of styles, whether it be on wheels, built out of a shipping container, an earth home or even a treehouse.
Benefits of tiny homes
One of the major attractions to tiny house living is the belief that “less is more”. Many well-off families and individuals have chosen to sell their large and impressive homes in exchange for the micro-lifestyle because they want to remove themselves from all of the “stuff” in their lives. Because tiny homes are so small, living in them requires frequent decluttering, ensuring you only hold onto treasured and needed items. The small space also means there is less to clean and maintain, meaning there is more time to enjoy life and live in the present.
Stan Scott, the star builder of Mitre 10’s Tiny House building series, says this is what prompts the lifestyle change for many people.
“One of the main things, when people move into a tiny house, is they feel so much more freedom purely because they’ve gotten rid of all of the “stuff” in their life, which they never really needed anyway, and they no longer have to carry it around with them.”
A smaller living situation also means fewer bills, says Stan.
“There are very little bills to pay, so you can save money. I would say millennials are getting into it because they can’t afford to buy houses and they’re really keen on doing DIY. It gives them a way to save a bit of income to save for a deposit for a house.”
A survey conducted by The Tiny Life, a website which focuses on tiny homes and living simply, found that in the US alone, 68% of people living in a tiny house are mortgage-free and 55% of Americans living in a tiny house have more financial savings than the average American.
Ultimately, to enjoy tiny house living, you need to be interested in the lifestyle. There is a growing tiny house community, and many people want to be a part of it.
“There tends to be a little bit of a tiny house movement, so you can meet like-minded people”, confirms Stan.
How big are tiny homes?
Typically, tiny homes tend to be up to 400 square feet in size. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. Generally, the idea with tiny homes is to live in a space that provides what you need without the excess. It’s about creating a space that supports a minimalistic and sustainable lifestyle. Of course, the space required to house one person will be different from the requirements of housing a large family, and tiny homes can be designed to fit around these lifestyle requirements, while still taking up as little space as possible. The benefit here is that tiny homes can be built in a very short amount of time, sometimes in under a month if you have all of the support and materials that you need.
Can I buy a tiny home?
Tiny homes can be purchased as prefabricated homes, and are sometimes sold on to new owners. While this is an affordable option, it limits you to a small space that has been designed to suit someone else's lifestyle, and it might not necessarily suit yours. For many people, the beauty of tiny house living is that you can affordably design your home to fit your needs. It may be that you’re an enthusiastic cook and therefore want to make the kitchen the main feature in your tiny home. You might be an artist, and therefore creating a multi-purpose tiny home that can convert into a studio would be the best option for you. Designing from scratch allows you to create a home that, while tiny, will perfectly meet your needs.
What can tiny houses be used for?
Tiny homes don’t just need to be designed in the form of a permanent living situation. They can make great sleepouts or unique Airbnb accommodation. They can also provide a great office or studio space. What you use your tiny house for is really only limited by your imagination.